On August 8, 2020, we lost our beloved colleague Levern Blackmon. Levern first came to the PJC in 1996 through PJC’s Tenant Advocacy Training Project, which trained him as a volunteer lay advocate to represent tenants on the District Court’s rent docket. In 1998-1999 he was able to continue his work as an AmeriCorps volunteer. In 1999, Levern was hired as the Tenant Advocate/Case Manager. Levern represented and counseled thousands of tenants concerning tenant/landlord relations and secured tens of thousands of dollars for tenants from rent escrow accounts. In September 2002, Levern was appointed as the first paralegal for the PJC’s new Prisoners Project. In 2005, Levern began splitting his time between representing prisoners and tenants. He then returned to representing tenants full time as part of the Human Right to Housing team from the PJC’s office at the District Courthouse on Fayette Street.
Levern was also the recipient of the 2005 William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award, which is awarded to a non-attorney who has demonstrated outstanding service in Maryland representing the rights and legal needs of the poor or by expanding access to justice for such persons.